HL Deb 16 December 2003 vol 655 cc128-5WA
Lord Cope of Berkeley

the Leader of the House: What figures are available relating to the additional costs of the works programme, the Line of Route and related matters arising out of sittings of the House in

indicator would be the debt: export or debt: government revenue ratios.

Figures for 2003 are not yet available for GDP per capita. Again, the use of constant 1995 prices makes it difficult to draw meaningful conclusions from these data. Finally, rather than showing debt relief likely to be remitted over the next two years, the table shows the total debt stock being written off under the HIPC initiative, since this relief is already being delivered on the flow of repayments.

September 2003 and what forecast can be derived from them for September 2004. [HL323]

Baroness Amos

The total additional costs arising from the September sittings of the House in 2003 cannot yet be assessed. This is largely because the major works contracts running through the summe are not yet complete and, until they are, contractors will not submit claims for expenditure resulting from any delay and disruption. These claims may then be disputed. Most contracts were also let on the basis of a September sitting, not a 12-week recess.

The House authorities estimate that the contracts were some £160,000 more expensive than they would have been, which amounts to about 1 per cent of the average summer works spend, and is due mainly to the need to accelerate work on certain areas required by Members during the sittings.

No useful forecast can be made for September 2004 while the figures for 2003 are unknown. Some costs will be unavoidable if only one House sits.